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Test Ends Quickly For Danica

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, December 20 2009
Danica Patrick ended the ARCA test session at Daytona with a good Sunday. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

Danica Patrick ended the ARCA test session at Daytona with a good Sunday. (Photo courtesy of NASCAR)

RacinToday.com

Chapter One of the Dancia Patrick in fenders saga came to an end on Sunday afternoon.

Patrick, the IndyCar Series’ most popular driver, completed her three-day test in the The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards, by posting the fifth-fastest lap among the 29 drivers who took to the track at Daytona International Speedway.

She turned that lap around the 2.5-mile DIS oval in 49.442 seconds and at 182.028 mph.

Patrick and her JR Motorsports team also spent portions of Sunday making simulated pit stops.

Most teams used the session to prepare for ARCA’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway (live on SPEED at 4 p.m. Eastern) on Feb. 6. Others participated primarily to gain superspeedway racing experience in anticipation of future ARCA speedway races.

Also taking part was IndyCar driver Milka Duno of Venezuela.

On Saturday, Duno, driving for Braun Racing, delivered the 13th quickest time (out of 63 times posted.)

Of the 10 women participating in the test, Duno was the second fastest at the end of the day on Saturday. Alli Owens led the group.

Duno’s only Sunday session started with a first-lap time of 50.083 seconds placing her third fastest overall at the time. She pitted after the lap and when back out on the track the engine started to lose power – so her next 7 laps were off the pace. When she brought the car back into the pits an engine issue was diagnosed and her effort for the day came to an abrupt end.

“I knew what I was capable of if given a great car,” Duno said. “Braun Racing’s No. 90 Toyota Camry was a great car and had we been able to complete today’s test I’m confident that I would have gone even faster than yesterday. I think given that this was my first time behind the wheel of a stock car the test was a great success and a strong indicator of my potential in stock car competition. My thanks to Braun Racing and the entire crew for helping to make this exciting first venture in stock cars a great success.”

Mikey Kile, who plans to run the full 20-race ARCA Racing Series schedule in 2010, recorded the fastest time of the weekend with a 49.164 second/183.061 mph lap on Saturday afternoon while drafting with Venturini Motorsports teammates Steve Arpin and Owens.

Owens, a Daytona Beach native, had the fastest time by a female driver this weekend (49.192 seconds/182.957 mph) during Saturday afternoon’s draft.

Fellow Floridian Patrick Sheltra, who resides in Indiantown, topped the speed charts during the Sunday afternoon portion of testing.

Robb Brent, in a Mike Allgaier-owned Dodge, concluded Sunday morning’s session leading the speed charts with a 49.250 second/182.741 mph lap.

Also participating were five-time Daytona Supercross By Honda champion Ricky Carmichael, five-time Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 champion Bobby Gerhart, Amber and Angela Cope, twin nieces of 1990 Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, and Brandon McReynolds, son of former Daytona 500 winning crew chief Larry McReynolds.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Sunday, December 20 2009
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